Western Free Press: Top-two primary will open the door for corruption

The following excerpt originated from Western Free Press:

The latest fad among activists looking to transform our election process is the “top-two” primary.  States like Washington, Louisiana and California have already adopted the process which does away with separate primaries for each party. Instead, candidates from all parties are placed on the same ballot where the top two vote-getters, regardless of affiliation, move on to the general election.

Besides the obvious concern that some voters will be left without any choice in the general election to represent their party and the fear that third-party candidates will essentially have no chance to succeed, a major point of concern on both sides of the aisle is corporate control of the elections.

The cost to run an effective primary campaign will necessarily skyrocket as candidates will now be forced to gain favor with opposition moderates while simultaneously fending off attacks from the other side of the aisle. Under such a system cash will be king, and it is a known fact that the earliest fundraising comes from corporate groups, unions, lobbyists, and special interests. Those candidates willing to bow, grovel, and beg to big business soonest will have a huge advantage.

Couple this corporate conspiring with the major parties need to limit the number of candidates it fields and all you get is more big government, big business control of our process.  In fact, states like California who have implemented the system have not even enjoyed a noticeable rise in political moderation or voter turnout, the two desired deliverables from the top-two system.

As Arizona votes on the initiative in November it is important to look back at the example of “Clean Elections.”  While there was opposition to that idea, we at least held hope it would limit corruption as no glaring threats were seen on the immediate horizon.  That program has been an epic failure on all accounts.  What then will be the outcome when all parties of traditional corruption are just waiting in the wings? The way to keep elections clean is to keep the top-two system out.


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